Monday, October 06, 2008

Best New Cheeses in the World

A Wisconsin company makes two out of three of the best new cheeses in the world, according to the 20th World Cheese Awards held last week in Dublin, Ireland.

Sartori Reserve Raspberry BellaVitano - one of the best new cheeses I've tasted so far this year -- took gold for Best New Cheese with additives. This is the same cheese I raved about at July's ACS contest -- where it also took a blue ribbon.

Sartori also took gold in the Best New Cheese - hard or semi-hard category with its Sartori Reserve BellaVitano. The only best new cheese it apparently does not make is the Best New Blue Cheese in the world, which went to a company in Switzerland.

The cheeses are made in Antigo, Wis., and Sartori has heavily reinvested in the plant since it purchased it in 2006 from Antigo Cheese. You may better know the company by its SarVecchio Parmesan (formerly Stravecchio Parmesan) cheese -- which routinely wins awards in every contest it's entered. In fact, it won Best American Cheese at least year's World Cheese Awards.

This was the first time in the 20-year history of the World Cheese Awards that the judging was held outside of the United Kingdom. More than 2,400 cheeses from every continent except South America were entered in the contest. Judging by 140 judges took place on September 29, with winners announced on October 1.

Rounding out the Wisconsin winners are:

  • GOLD -- Semi-Hard Cheese Produced on Farm or Dairy with a Total Output Not Exceeding a Weekly Average of 2 Tons -- Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese

  • GOLD -- Rind-Washed Cheese Not in Any Other Class -- Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Les Freres

  • SILVER -- New Cheese with Additives - open to any new cheese first marketed after April 1, 2007: Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, hand coated with cracked peppercorns

  • BRONZE -- Rind-Washed Cheese Not in Any Other Class -- Roth Kase USA, Roth's Private Reserve

  • BRONZE -- Semi-Hard Cheese Not in Any Other Class -- Roth Kase USA, Gran Queso

  • BRONZE -- Mozzarella, Fresh, Cow's Milk in Ball -- BelGioioso Cheese, Burrata

  • BRONZE -- Two-Year Aged Cheddar, Widmer's Cheese Chellars

In case you were wondering -- the cheese taking the overall "Best in Show" at the World Cheese Awards was a cooperative of 50 partners from the Canary Islands, the Sociedad Canaria de Formento, which won the World Champion crown for its Queso Arico curado pimentón cheese. I have no idea what kind of cheese this is, but it must be good. :)

Congrats to all!

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